ISSN 2398-2985      

Pododermatitis

6guinea pig

Synonym(s): Bumblefoot


Introduction

  • Cause: trauma to plantar surfaces of feet, commonly from wire or coarse woodchip bedding. Soiled bedding may further complicate the lesions.
  • Signs: inflammation, infection often scab-covered, hemorrhagic, cutaneous ulcerated plantar surfaces of feet. May cause generalized swelling of the feet.
  • Diagnosis: history, environment observation, clinical picture, radiography.
  • Treatment: placement on soft, dry clean bedding and a solid cage surface. Affected feet: cleanse, trim toenails, debride if ulcerated, topical antibacterial, protective covering. Systemic antibiotics and NSAIDs as these are usually infected and painful.
  • Prognosis: guarded: often difficult to heal completely if lesions are deep, osteomyelitis, and have been going on for a while before the owner noticed.
Print off the Owner factsheet on Bumblefoot to give to your clients.

Pathogenesis

Etiology

  • Trauma to bottoms of feet from wire, coarse woodchips, or woodchips that contain aromatic irritant oils such as cedar, soiled/wet bedding.
  • Secondary infection usually with Staphylococcus aureus Staphylococcus aureus.

Predisposing factors

General

Specific

  • As above.

Pathophysiology

  • Trauma allows skin abrasions and cuts where irritation, inflammation and infection enter.
  • Continued standing on the lesions contributes to progression.

Timecourse

  • Usually takes weeks, partly because the owner may not notice the small swelling beginning on the bottoms of the feet that mark the beginning.

Epidemiology

  • Inappropriate caging (wire flooring) sold to house guinea pigs.
  • Inappropriate coarse wood chip or aromatic wood chips sold for bedding.
  • Obesity.

Diagnosis

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Treatment

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Prevention

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Outcomes

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Further Reading

Publications

Refereed papers

  • Recent references from PubMed and VetMedResource.
  • Brown C & Donnelly T M (2008) Treatment of pododermatitis in the guinea pig. Lab Anim 37(4), 156-157 PubMed.

Other sources of information

  • Hawkins M G & Bishop C R (2012) Disease Problems of Guinea Pigs. In: Ferrets, Rabbits and Rodents. 3rd edn. Eds: Quesenberry K E & Carpenter J W. Elsevier. pp 295-310.
  • Harkness J E, Turner P V, VandeWoude S & Wheler C L (2010) Harkness and Wagner's Biology and Medicine of Rabbits and Rodents. 5th edn. Wiley-Blackwell. pp 364-366.

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